Strong research and development programs in nanotechnology and Thermal Protection Systems (TPS) exist at NASA Ames. Conceptual studies have been undertaken to determine if new, nanostructured materials (composites of existing TPS materials and nanostructured composite fibers) could improve the performance of TPS. To this end, we have studied various candidate heatshields, some composed of existing TPS materials (with known material properties), to provide a baseline for comparison with others that are admixtures of such materials and a nanostructured material. In the latter case, some assumptions were made about the thermal conductivity and strength of the admixture, relative to the baseline TPS material. For the purposes of this study, we have made the conservative assumption that only a small fraction of the remarkable properties of carbon nanotubes (for example) will be realized in the material properties of the admixtures employing them. The heatshields studied included those for Sharp leading edges (appropriate to out-of-orbit entry and aero-maneuvering), probes, an out-of-orbit Apollo Command Module (as a surrogate for NASA's new Crew Exploration Vehicle [CEV]), a Mars Sample Return Vehicle and a large heat shield for Mars aerocapture missions. We report on these conceptual studies, which show that in some cases (not all), significant improvements in the TPS can be achieved through the use of nanostructured materials.